Everton boss Ronald Koeman has reportedly given the green light to pursue a deal for Ajax captain Davy Klaassen in the coming days.
The Netherlands international was hugely influential for the Amsterdam outfit last season as his 20 goals and assists guided them to a runner-up finish in the Eredivisie while also reaching the final of the Europa League.
Klaassen has also integrated into the Netherlands setup through his performances, and he will be now looking to step up to a bigger challenge ahead of a potential World Cup ahead in Russia next year. Koeman made a scouting trip to watch his fellow country mate earlier this year, and he is hoping to secure a summer agreement in the next 10 days, he said: “It is difficult for a lot of technical and skilful players because the demands in England are so big. But Davy Klaassen has made very big steps.”
The Dutch footballer is being seen as a like for like replacement for England international Ross Barkley, who has been reluctant to extend his Toffees contract until this point of time.
The Merseyside graduate has just 12 months left on his present deal, and Koeman admitted last month that the club could be looking for options to fill Barkley’s void, he said: “We will go on and we’re looking for players in that position. If he stays there will be more competition. I am not worried because I like to work with players who like to play. If you offer a player a new contract, and a good contract, that means you want to keep the player.”
Everton managed to end their recent European drought after they finished seventh in the league standings last term. However, they still have a long way to go before the Europa League group stages with a playoff round to contend as early as next month.